Elf On The Shelf Fails


Tegan Dugger

  As Camila Cabello would say, it is now quismois time. Since Jesus’s b-day is coming up, many festivities have begun. From draping your house in lights, putting up a quismois tree, opening up advent calendars, to being forced to participate in quismois parades, you name it,  it’s happening. But there is one tradition that trumps all the others, one tradition that is the true defining event of the coveted holiday known as Christmas. And that tradition, ladies and gentlemen, is an elf on the shelf. If you don’t know what an elf on the shelf is, I’m sorry but we can’t be friends. But, since it is the season for spreading positivity, I will tell you. The whole idea is that Santa sends an elf to a child’s house during Christmas in order for the elf to watch over the child and report back to Santa on whether or not he/she has been behaving. The kid is supposed to name the elf, and each day of December, it will be hidden throughout the house leading up to Christmas. It’s the child’s job to locate the elf daily. When the elf is found, it will either have a reward for the child’s good behavior or a letter from Santa saying that the child needs to get a grip. This whole thing was created as a way for kids to understand how Santa knows if they’ve been behaving. In reality, the elf is not real, it is a stuffed animal. Usually, a parent or older sibling is the one hiding the elf and leaving the rewards/notes. Overall, children love elf on the shelf. It gives them something to look forward to each day of December. But, there is a huge catch regarding the elf itself. Each elf is given magic that allows them to teleport from the North Pole and back every day. It is possible for an elf to lose its magic through one simple action, being touched. That’s right, if the child does as little as to poke the elf, it loses its magic and no longer hides or reports to Santa. Due to this rule, tongs are often used to transport the elf without physically touching it. So, now that you all know what an elf on the shelf is, let’s get into the fails!


   This first fail is a certified horror story. My friend Olivia Thuesen’s family had always participated in elf on the shelf. She said that this particular story occurred in 2015. It was mid-December and her parents were running out of places to hide the elf. For some reason, they opted to hide it in the bathroom. That in itself is a red flag. When Olivia woke up, she immediately started to search for the elf. After about 10 minutes of searching, she couldn’t find it. She ended up going to the bathroom and didn’t even notice that the elf was on the edge of the toilet tank. When she went to flush… the rattle it caused made the elf fall into the bowl. “It all happened so fast,” Olivia said. Unfortunately, since the elf caught her off guard, she wasn’t able to retrieve it before it flushed away. Surprisingly enough, the elf went completely down. “I remember looking down and seeing him spin before being devoured. At the time, it was traumatizing,” Olivia said. After her elf had been flushed, she was very flustered. Olivia ran out to her parents and told them what had happened. Since she was very upset, her parents were quick on their feet with what to tell her. She said that her parents told her, “Oh my, he must have had to find a way to get to the north pole as quick as he could to tell Santa how good you’ve been!” This helped her to calm down. The only issue was that in reality the elf was gone for good, which is why her parents ordered a new one on Amazon and paid extra for that three-day shipping. When her parents were finally able to hide the new elf, they left a note with him saying, “Sorry I was away for a few days, you’ve just been so good that I decided to take a mini vacation.” 


    I decided to take to the internet to find some more fails, and wow, some of these parents need to get it together. On buzzfeed.com there are so many elf on the shelf fails that involve fire. There was one instance where the parent decided it would be fun and quirky to hide the elf in the oven. Everything was good until he forgot it was there and then turned the oven on. Due to the fuego the oven produced, the elf was burnt to a crisp. There are a lot of cases when the elf is hidden close to or on top of a light fixture. Nine times out of ten this causes the elf to burn. 


   Another fail is when a parent wanted their child’s elf to have Sia moment by hanging it from a chandelier. The child woke up and pretty easily was able to locate the elf. I forgot to mention earlier that the elf doesn’t move during the day, the whole idea is that they are active at night which is why the child never sees it. So throughout the day, it hung from the chandelier in peace. At the end of the day, the family sat down to eat chili for dinner while the elf hung directly above them. After having hung all day, the elf began to slip. It ended up falling directly into the pot of chili. The parent frantically grabbed the tongs and pulled the soupy elf out. Believe it or not, the elf was semi-burnt because the chili was so hot. The mom just ended up throwing it into the washing machine. 


   I asked college freshman Maisie Dugger if she recalled any elf on the shelf fails from her childhood, and this is her story. From a young age, she had always thought it was so cool that the elf is “real.” All she wanted to do was touch the elf. So she did and it died. 


  Those are some of the millions of elf on the shelf fails I’ve heard about. I think we as a society need to cut these elves some slack, they go through so much.  Overall, it’s fun to look over different holiday fails that happen. Maybe I’ll do a Valentine’s day fails article.